Stay Wet

Article from National Geographic (of all things) says “Influenza germs last longer … in lower absolute humidity — i.e., when it’s cold outside and the air is dryer.” So, once again, consider carrying a saline spray inhaler. The brand Ocean, and others, are in the nose ailment department of your local drug shop. For two … More Stay Wet


I met a crop duster pilot one really hot, pretty dusty afternoon on the west side of the Central Valley. You have to see these guys, working at the way unglamorous end of the airplane pilot business, dressed in jeans and dirty shirts, but with the spiritual swagger of a Top Gun. Anyway, the west … More Dusters

A Dog Story

One May night in 2003 the Today Show sent me to a veterinarian‘s office in Clear Lake to deal with a dog. Dosha, the rasputin dog. Dosha had escaped from her yard, been hit by a truck, shot (that is, put down) by a cop, put in the animal morgue and left for dead. (Her … More A Dog Story

Airplane Noise

Virtually all World War II film was shot silent, MOS is the insider term. So when you watch movies of dogfights and so forth, the burning plane trailing smoke heading for earth, the whining sound is faked. Sweetened is the insider term. I owe this wisdom to Chris Koch and don’t think about this much. … More Airplane Noise

Law and Order

There was loud shouting and banging from the stairway inside. On the 2nd floor balcony of the apartment building a man and an elderly couple stood, she crying, the young man — her son, it turned out — talking almost continuously to the people, including half a dozen police officers, below. This is in Banja … More Law and Order